Myths about wind energy damaging potential benefits
FALSE claims about wind power technology are putting the industry's potential at risk and could result in higher energy bills for consumers.
With the proposed Green Port Hull development gathering momentum and the city's close proximity to the huge offshore wind farms in the North Sea, Hull is set to become a hub for wind power.
East Yorkshire also now has a number of onshore wind farms, which are playing their part in the UK's efforts to slash its reliance on imported energy.
However, a recent backlash among Conservative MPs, 100 of whom wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to cut the subsidies for on and offshore wind, has added weight to the idea that wind energy is not value for money.
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Now, a report by national think tank IPPR aims to "debunk the myths" about wind, saying unfounded claims are damaging the industry before it has had time to take off.
Will Straw, IPPR associate director, said: "Too often, criticisms of wind power technology have been made that are not based on robust evidence.
"The interests of UK consumers and the British economy are best served if debates on wind power stick to the facts.
"The potential for wind power to save carbon emissions and the reliability of the technology, at least in the period up until 2020, are essentially settled issues.
"It is absolutely right government support for wind power is not overly generous and that the views of local communities about developments in their area are taken into account through the planning process.
"But government policy on this technology must be determined by evidence and not by political whim."
IPPR commissioned research from renewable energy consultancy, GL Garrad Hassan.
This showed every megawatt-hour of electricity wind power produced led to carbon savings of a minimum of 350kg.
It said the increasing number of wind farms both on and offshore saved 5.5m tonnes last year, at a time when the UK is committed to meeting EU carbon reduction targets in a bid to counter climate change.
The report's publication coincides with a pledge by Liberal Democrats to bring forward a range of proposals to create sustainable green jobs at their annual conference next month.
The move has been criticised by Hull MPs, who claim the Lib Dems have so far offered a "luke-warm" approach to the renewables agenda embraced by the Government.
Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, said: "Weak proposals lacking in detail to make this the greenest government ever will not fool people when Ed Davey recently gave his backing to new gas-fired power stations, cut on shore wind subsidies by 10 per cent and continues to sit on the fence with regards offshore wind."
Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, said: "The progress we've made since 2010 in Hull on attracting new green jobs has been due to local efforts, especially by our local authorities and the business community.
"It's been despite, not because of, the inconsistent approach to green energy from the Government."